13 posts categorized "I ♥ Faces"

March 13, 2009

Fix-it Friday

Fix it friday cutiepie before One of my favorite things about digital photography is the ability to create something special from something that fell just a little bit short of perfect. 

I recently discovered a site called "I Faces" and, in addition to weekly photography face themes, they also have a weekly "fix it" challenge where you take a photo they give you and do your best to enhance it.  The original photo is to the left and my 'improvement' is below.  The child was already pretty darn cute so there really wasn't much to improve upon!  Click the image to see a larger view.

You can see what other people did by clicking <here>.

Fix it friday cutiepie - after 

I do all my photo editing in Paintshop Pro.  I've used it for years and I really love it.  I did a white balance correction and fixed a few tiny flaws.  Then I upped the saturation in her eyes, sharpened, then softened just a tiny bit.  Next, I unchapped her lips and removed some stray hairs from her face, added some extra eyelashes, extracted her face and layered it over a stock photo background that came with my computer.  Then I flipped the whole thing!  Violla!  Done!

Heehee.... And my husband wonders why the laundry piles up? 

March 09, 2009

I ♥ faces - creative cropping

One photo landscape (hippo cropped)-000001

I'm a big fan of cropping.   How many times have you looked at a photo and thought that it looked so much better than you remembered that scene in real life?  I'm sure it's because photography captures a small, less visually distracting, part of the world around us.  Most peripheral distractions are eliminated because the camera's eye can only see so much.  Cropping further refines this visual point of view to just a few, personally selected, inches.   

For example, in the photo above, I've chosen to feature Gwenny's world-class smile and her playful sparkling eyes.    She obviously has something in her hand but I've cropped away so much of it that I've rendered it unimportant.  Now the subject of the photo is simple (and beautiful): Gwen and her joy. 

Compare that cropped photo to the original and you'll see how the image immediately stops being about a beautiful little happy girl and almost completely becomes a photo of a kid with her head in a hippo's mouth.  Yes, that's a pretty darn interesting theme in and of itself but who would really notice the cute kid in this photo when there's such a HUGE distraction going on here?    

Did you notice there's a man standing behind Gwen?  He blends in because he's wearing colors that don't compete with this photo.  But what if he was wearing a red shirt?   See?  That's why cropping is such an amazing tool!

One photo landscape (hippo before) resized 
My final bit of cropping advice is to not forget the "rule of thirds"

February 24, 2009

I ♥ faces - black & white (updated)

I'm updating this photo because I think I've learned a few more things about what makes a "good" black and white photograph. It's not enough to just convert our images to greyscale. Our faces shouldn't look gray. They should look alive and beautiful! Hopefully Gwenny looks more alive in this pretty photo! Gwen bw-blog

Here's a photo of my pretty Gwenny that I'm entering in the I ♥ faces contest this week.  Like the folks at We Picture {this}, the current theme is black & white.  Lots of entries!  Check them out here.

I love this photo.  We were playing in the backyard in the dark and Gwen was wearing a black shirt and the contrast between her flawless skin and the dark night was spectacular!  Other than converting it to greyscale, this photo is straight out of the camera.  You can see every lovely detail of her face.... even little beads of sweat on her upper lip and every tiny perfect eyebrow hair.    Anyone notice anything odd about her teeth?  I usually don't notice it but I think it's exceptionally obvious in this photo.

Photo Stats:
Camera: Canon 5D
Exposure: 1/60 sec.
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 40 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Manual Mode with flash
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